by Martha Wells
We reached the landing above the Hall. Below, Electra’s husband, Mr. John Dearing, was personally receiving a guest, a young man in the act of handing his greatcoat to the butler.
There were no guests expected, and just before the dinner hour is not considered an appropriate time for casual calls, yet Dearing was greeting this presumptuous fellow as a prodigal son.
He was a striking figure. (The guest, I mean. Dearing is a stout bewhiskered muskrat of a man, a fit mate for Electra.) Blond curls, broad shoulders, a chiseled profile. I felt a feather of unease travel down my spine; old instincts rousing, perhaps. His garments, though somewhat the worse for travel at this rainy time of year, were of fashionable cut and fine cloth.
Frowning, Electra caught the attention of one of the footmen stationed at the bottom of the stairs, and called him up to her to ask, “Why, William, whoever is that?”
“Madame, they say it’s a foreign Duke, the son of the King of Armantia.”
“I see,” Electra dismissed the man and looked to me, her mild dove eyes vaguely troubled. “Oh, dear. A prince.”
About the Author
Martha Wells has written well over a dozen fantasy novels, including the Books of the Raksura series (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, The Siren Depths, Stories of the Raksura Vol. I, Stories of the Raksura vol. II), The Wizard Hunters, Wheel of the Infinite, and the nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as YA fantasies, short stories, and non-fiction. She has had stories in Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Stargate Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, Tales of the Emerald Serpent, and The Other Half of the Sky. She has also written the media-tie-ins, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary, Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement, and Star Wars: Razor’s Edge. Her new book in the Raksura series, The Edge of Worlds, will be out in April 2016.
About the Narrator
C.S.E. Cooney is the author of World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans: Stories. Her short novel “The Twice-Drowned Saint” is included in Mythic Delirium’s anthology The Sinister Quartet. Her forthcoming novel Saint Death’s Daughter will be out with Rebellion in Spring of 2022. Other work includes Tor.com novella Desdemona and the Deep and a poetry collection: How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes, which features her Rhysling Award-winning “The Sea King’s Second Bride.” Her short fiction and poetry can be found in Jonathan Strahan’s anthology Dragons, Ellen Datlow’s Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and elsewhere.